Top Ten Tips For Project Managers

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 Keep a project management team works well can be a challenge, especially when budgets are lean, and expectations are high. All leaders need to understand the best way to manage and motivate, but a couple of basic principles will keep you pointed down the right path.

1. Know Your Role

Although it might be the leader of the group, you must be a priority group for you. Even if you have a practical leader, remember that you are there for the coaches, evaluate and mentor. The time to attend each of these areas on a regular basis.

2. To understand the value of your employees

You cannot achieve your team goals for yourself; work hard to help your employees do their jobs. Remove obstacles, work through the glitches, and fight for the resources your employees need to succeed.

3. Equity Note

Avoid playing favorites, or set your goals higher than those of your team, because people are ready to dig the words and actions that are illegal or selfish. You still need to take unpopular decisions in time-to-time, but you have to respect a team.

4. Treat your employees like adults

Few things undermine the respect and enthusiasm as fast as criticize, discipline, or embarrassed in public. It allows employees to perform a delicate compliment to discussions in private, give them my support in case of errors, never losing sight of their career goals.

5. Find the strengths of each member and uses them

By using the natural forces of an employee to its full potential, you will not only give employees feel a great sense of value and success; you must also give your team the benefit of these skills.

6. Encourage success

When an employee hits a target really hard or get a winner, take it. Let the rest of the team know of accomplishment, you should look for other ways to replicate the success of future projects and keep an eye on opportunities that might allow the employee to help guide others to achieve similar results.

7. Provide rapid feedback, direct and useful

Without it, employees will feel frustrated that their efforts are paying off, and you will have the same bitterness, because the team is not reaching its potential.

8. Focus on long-term success

Do not expect employees to learn new skills to change behavior or improve their performance during the night. Instead, work on small changes here and there and you will see solid results over the long term.

9. Use mistakes as a learning tool

When working with a team to correct the error, you can move the focus to help them understand how the error occurred, the road signs were originally, and how you can avoid the same mistake later.

10. Account is not an expert on everything

If you have a team that has more experience in a particular area, do not try to hide or mitigate it, and celebrate! Successful teams will combine special abilities of each member in a high-performance full of uncertainty and the ego, or bring to the table only to weaken it.
To enhance and restore to the employees to do their job, you can plant more confidence and greater accountability. You will also be supported in its efforts to increase their skill sets and improve the decision-making capacity.
You must be a biggest fan of your employees and strongest supporter. Make sure your management team is aware of your performance group, in collaboration with senior management to recognize the achievements of the team and be diligent to reward students with individual promotions, if any.

Time Management Tips For Professionals

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There is no easy route in perfecting time management. Although the idea of managing time may sound easy, many people are still finding it difficult to follow.
If you are one of those people who find it hard to follow time management, then here are some tips that you can follow.
1. See the BIGGER Picture
Time is a constant and abundant resource that people can't purchase or sell. It is a resource that can be shared with or can be shared from someone else.
And one effective way of managing it is by visualizing a bigger and clearer picture of your goal. Prioritize more the activities that would put you closer to your objective, and prioritize less those that won't. Carefully assess the tasks that need prioritization in order to accomplish activities that are closely related to your goal.
Many successful people today practice different time management forms and techniques, but if there's one thing these business minded people share in common. It's the vision of how they want to spend their business time.
2. AUDITING Time Management (For Professionals)
Ideally speaking, everything that a person should list and follow should be actively valuable towards their desired goal.
To make your auditing faster, the following are sub-breakdowns that many professionals spend their time on. Personal goals may differ, but the general idea of breaking goals down remains the same.
• People and Managing. Managing people can be sub-categorized in to three different areas namely;
1. Managing time across 
2. Managing time up 
3. Managing time down
If you're currently working as a leader or as a manager in a company, understand that the best way to spend most of your time is by directly supervising your team or co-workers below you.
This is also an effective strategy of teaching your employees while working your personal professional goal at the same time. Cultivating time-leverage upward not only benefits the team and the company, but it can also benefit you by moving closer to your goal.

3. CHARTS for Time Management
Presently, there are lots of these tips that are scattered all over the internet. The approach may vary sometimes, but believe that the basic idea is still there.
One common tip most time management tips share is in building a chart. Building charts are effective in reminding important plans ahead. Creating charts are also helpful in simplifying time management audits, as well as in pitching the whole picture of your goal.

Building a Chart:
a. Start building your chart by writing down the days and weeks in a month. Across its columns on top, write down your major tasks and goals that needs prioritization.
b. After you complete this activity, record the amount of time you spent under each category. This way you can easily monitor your progress and accomplishments in one day.
c. Try to stick to the plan as much as possible.
d. Avoid over doing it by stuffing to much work in one day.
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Why Project Time Management Is Your Defense Against Delay and Disruption

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When the timely completion of a construction project or a project stage is at risk or has failed, the result is disruption or chaos, and this has been the subject of many lawsuits for many years. Delay and Disruption disputes are often centred on time issues. The CIOB has reported its findings that projects that suffer from disputes about delay also suffer from poor time control. So it would seem that good project time management would be an essential element of any construction programme.
Project Time Management is too often neglected
This is not often the case. Of the issues that commonly determine project success, cost, quality and time, time is the least understood and least often managed with the support of formal models, benchmarks or tools. Managing project timings seems to sit in the shadows of successful project management. Where, for example, Quantity Surveying is a specific and recognised discipline, with professional bodies that govern performance and advise on techniques, there are no such bodies for the time-related aspects. Time management is often viewed as simply a feature of the project management software. But if we don't lend greater priority to managing time, then time-related issues, such as delays, will have a disproportionate impact when they go wrong.
Put a strategy in place for managing time on projects
Having a strategy in place for training and tools that improve project time management will bring immediate and long-term rewards; good time management in construction project management is key to minimising the risk of a delay and disruption claim. Managing time using tailored and developed time management software is a powerful weapon in the arsenal of any construction company's best practices. It is a discipline that brings with it a trail of evidence and auditable records that can be used to stand up in any law case and minimises the risk of even getting that far in first place by encouraging best practice and mitigating risk.
Pick the tool with Project Time Management capabilities
The effects of poor time management relate to every size of project, but the more complex a project the more disproportionate are the effects and impacts of time. So having the backup of strong project management information systems that can show how plans may have adapted throughout the course of a project to cope with deviations provides a strong defensive tool for when things go awry.

Choosing the right project management solution is essential. The time management tools embedded in software for managing construction projects, regardless of complexity, are much more capable than the simplistic time management models which are designed to improve personal productivity. They are fundamental to the contractor's productivity and the effective management of its entire supply chain. They are also necessary for the building of a strong reputation for good project time management, which is essential within an industry long suffering from delay and disruption issues, and will create a distinct competitive edge for the contractor.

A Glossary of Useful Terminology for Microsoft Project Management

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The purpose of this article is to go through the main components and terms used in Microsoft Project and make them easier to understand. Project planners speak in a short hand that often excludes even computer literate individuals.
Project software and project management is very jargon laden this article will attempt to simply key project jargon for a new user. I for one have seen a dozen people sitting around a project plan discussing whether the new WBS might help the variance between the baseline plan and the project actual only the project planner who was talking really knew what was going on.

What is a Project?
A project is any discrete set of interconnecting task with a defined start and end date. For example moving an office from location A to B would have a defined start date and a finish date culminating in a final launch party.
What are Tasks?
A task is any piece of work requiring effort. For example moving offices might require 4 hours of work effort.
Work and duration is not always the same thing. Monday to Friday I may have a five day task in duration writing a report but my intention is too only spend 50% of my time (work effort) on it.
Some tasks have no duration. Mile stone tasks have zero duration. Let's say that during a project moving an office from A to B a decision needs to be made between two similar sites. This meeting to decide the location would be described as a stage or milestone. Milestone tasks are displayed by default in MS Project with a diamond shape.
Linking Tasks
Everyone understands the concept that one task finishes; let's say distributing boxes and the next one begins packing files. This is a linear of the world. The reverse is also true one task cannot finish until another has begun. For example the canary down the coal mine cannot retire until the new air monitoring system is up and running. It is also possible that two tasks could start at the same time. In the new offices one tradesman could be laying carpet tiles in the same room at the same time as a painter tackling the ceiling. Similarly two tasks could have a finish to finish relationship packing the furniture and computer might have a finish to finish relationship with each other in readiness for the next task of moving everything to the new office. A final possibility might be that two tasks have no logical relationship with each other but just need to be independently completed before the project is completed.
Format Time-scale
If a hospital was creating a template for the perfect heart bypass operation they would be working in hours and minutes but if London Underground were replacing an escalator they would be working in day, weeks and months.
Network Diagram
It is possible to view your project plan in many ways one is a network diagram which is a flow diagram to show how the tasks relate to each other
Gantt chart
This few shows the task names on the left hand side of the screen and displays the tasks as bars on the right hand side underneath a time scale. Gantt charts were initially named after a planner called Henry Laurence Gantt who worked as a mechanical engineer famous for his highly visual scheduling and monitoring diagram. Gantt Charts are drawn to display planned and actual project progress. A commonly accepted project management instrument these days, it was an innovation of world-wide significance in created while ship building during World War 1. Gantt charts were subsequently used to monitor large construction projects like the Hoover Dam started in 1931 and Terminal 5 at Heathrow in London.
Critical Path
The shortest route through a series of interrelated tasks. Should a task on the critical path slip then the end date of the project would be jeopardized.
Critical Path
Most projects contain a large number of tasks. The critical path is the order of tasks that must be finished for the project to be considered complete. This path dictates the final finish date of your project plan.
The critical path is not primarily a list of vital tasks. It is a specific sequence of tasks, each task depending on the last.
As the project progresses, different sequences might be named as critical. Consider a project with two vital task sequences which we'll call selecting the new office site and Moving in to new offices. At the onset, the first task is projected to take 9 months and the second is projected to take 6 months. Since the first task will take longer and is deemed as being on the critical path.
After three months work, should the first task perform ahead of schedule with a new estimate of 5 additional months more while the second has been delayed by three moths the latter task would now be on the critical path?
What is a Critical Task
The definition of a critical task is any task that with a change of duration may positively or negatively affect the end date of the project if delayed
Tracking the Critical Path
The Gantt chart and network diagram two classic views in MS Project will display critical tasks and links in red automatically to make these tasks easier to observe and report.
Slack Time
Total slack is the amount of time that lies off the critical path. In other words changes to the duration of these tasks may or may not affect the critical path.
Slack is the amount of time a task can be delayed and still be on schedule. A 5 day task with a 10 day deadline has 5 days of slack. A task with no slack is automatically critical. Imagine two tasks due to finish at the same time. Packing computer equipment with one day of duration and packing files with four days duration. If they both started at the same time the pack equipment tasks would have three days of slack.
Project Calendar
At its simplest this means remember to put in the bank holidays. Otherwise at a meeting when someone notices a task that may be should have happened on a Monday slips to the
Task Constraints
There are two main types of constraint in project called soft constraints and hard constraints. An example of a cost constraint would be when moving an office from A to B disconnect the computers as late as possible so people can still send and receive emails. No specific date in mind. As an example of a hard constraint imagine that when the office has moved the computers need setting up and you need to book in a network engineer. This would be an example of a hard constraint the work must be executed on that booked day.
Splitting Large Tasks
Some times a task name might be too general to manage. You might have a task called Selecting the site (duration 20 days). However, this could by split down into smaller tasks known as subtasks i.e. within the larger task Plan the move there might be smaller task to talk to a solicitor, draw up site layouts for prospective sites, check transport links etc. When linked din this way the major task is referred to as a summary bar.
Project Resources
These are the people, rooms, equipment, Materials that will be used or consumed by the project. These resources can be prioritized so that if for example a solicitor was over allocated work and expected to complete to reports each taking ( 8 hours) on the.
It would be possible to use different techniques to level out their workloads 
Resources also have calendars which can be used to enter their holidays and also any delays in their schedule caused by sickness for example.
Lags leads and Delays
When moving an office from A to B half way through the task of distributing boxes presumably some one has a box therefore packing could begin. Or you could say 1 hour into the task distributing boxes the task of packing could begin.
An alternative could be the new office is being painted so a lap or gap of 2 days might be left for the paint to dry before the new carpets are laid.
A delay is different to a lag. Imagine the painter were due to start painting on the Monday but didn't arrive on site to scheduling error until Tuesday this would be an unforeseen delay
Resource Driven v Fixed Duration
If it takes 1 day for a driver to get from London to Glasgow how long would it take two driver? Of course the answer is the same maybe longer if they chat. However, if two people are packing files instead of one you would expect the task to be complete quickly, the first example is fixed duration and the other is resource driven
Tracking & Baseline Plans
If you imagine your project plan is a boat race between Oxford and Cambridge. Your Boat is Oxford (the schedule what you have told your colleagues will happen) tracking allows you to create a second boat Cambridge which is what actually happened. Every task in your schedule is a boat with an alter ego boat to track what actually happened. You can see which tasks started and finished earlier or later than expected. This is called tracking the variance between the base line plan (the schedule you have set or announced and the actual outcome
Project Costings
It is also possible add cost information to both tasks and resources. It could be that distributing boxes as a task has a fixed cost of £1000 but the
Work breakdown structure is just a notation eg 1.1, 1.2 a number sequence next to the tasks to make it easier to understand.

Keep Your Projects Under Control By Project Management Templates

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Project Management Templates: Any time you start trying to organize a major project underway for your company you are going to need a way to keep every aspect of it under control. For many people trying to stay fully organized when working on a big undertaking can be too much of a challenge. However if you use one of the many free templates to create a project management chart, you may find that keeping everything under control is as simple as following the charts you have created.

Once you have an idea of what you are trying to accomplish with the project you have in mind you will need to sit down and write an outline of what you need to do in order to complete the task you have set for yourself or your company. Sadly far too many people overlook the planning stage of any project and just plunge right in. Most of the time this lack of planning leads to disasters such as being unable to complete the project in budget or simply not finishing what they have started.

If you take the time to care plan out the major aspects of the project you are about to undertake you will find that when you come across small bumps in the road you will be better equipped to deal with them. This type of planning that is written down can save you both a lot of headaches and a fair amount of money that might otherwise be lost due to waste. You could try to create your own flow chart from scratch, but for most people this can be very daunting.

Instead you can use a prepared free template for your project management charts, this way you can simply fill in the blanks with the necessary information and hand copies out to your staff so that everyone is on the same page. This form will help you lay out information including timelines for accomplishing certain goals, how you plan to cope with certain issues if and when they come up and who will be involved in what step of the project.

You will find that there several sites online that offer this type of template. You should look carefully at them and find the one that best suits your needs. If you have never used this type of template, you may soon find yourself wondering how you ever managed to get anything done without one.

How to Speed Up Your Project Work By Using Project Management Templates

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Project management is definitely not an easy task as one has to keep a lot of things in mind. Managing a big and complex project is no child's play and you need to manage and coordinate many things at the same time. You can face a lot of unexpected problems even if you try to keep everything organized. However, there is an easy way to keep all the work updated and coordinated so that everything remains organized making the work less hectic. You can use project templates to keep the work organized and reduce your burden. You will not have to keep a constant and regular check on the small details and this will save a lot of time for other important things. It is also known as the advanced planning stage before you start implementing the actual project. You will be able to plan the work in the right way and take it in the right direction without any kinds of issues if you use the templates on a regular basis.

Planning is considered to be the first and most important step of any project. Improper planning can lead to many problems and issues which can spoil the whole work. Many people tend to ignore planning which gives rise to problems like incomplete project or increase of the project cost and budget. Thus, it is important that you prepare a proper plan before starting the actual project work. Always make a list of all the important factors that you need to consider while implementing the project. There might be certain unexpected problems or circumstances and you need to make certain conclusions to deal with these problems which might come up at a later stage. Another advantage about planning is that it helps you work on the budget and eventually reduces the cost of the project.

There are many ways in which you can create an interesting plan for the project. You can do it with the help of flow charts and diagrams which makes the whole process less hectic. However, sometimes planning can also become a lengthy process as you have to consider many factors. You might also forget certain small details which will spoil the plan. The best way to solve this problem is using the readymade project management templates. You just need to fill out the information and distribute the copies amongst the team members. The templates are very beneficial for the planning process and help you plan out things like project completion in the stipulated time, delegation of work and remedies for the various issues that might come up during the project. There are many different types of templates available and you can choose one according to your requirements. Project management templates have many advantages and speed up the whole PM process.

What is the Value of Having PMP®​ Certification?

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Just what is a PMP certification and why does it add so much value to the people who hold it? The reason is mostly due to the fact that the Project Management Institute issues the certification. The Project Management Institute, or PMI, is a global organization, with chapters in all but about four countries throughout the world. PMI has a rigorous criteria and a very difficult - many might say mentally abusive exam, which potential PMPs must pass before they can become certified.

There are two categories of people who can pursue PMP certification. The first category is for those who have college degrees. People in this category must have 4,500 hours of continuous, non-overlapping project management experience for 36 consecutive months within the past five years. The second category includes those project managers who have not attended college. People in this category must have 7,500 hours of continuous, non-overlapping project management experience for 60 months over an eight-year period. Both categories must also prove that they have participated in 35 hours of project management training within the past ten years.

Project Managers who meet either category must file an eligibility application with PMI. Once PMI reviews an application and determines if a candidate is eligible, they release an eligibility letter. A candidate then receives the eligibility letter to take the PMP certification exam.

The certification exam is a difficult one. The industry standard pass rate is rumored at 60%.

Presently there are in excess of 100,000 PMI members, with many others joining PMI to pursue the PMP certification.

Based on the salary increases experienced by IT professionals with the PMP, this credential carries some clout and is capturing great interest. Membership statistics from PMI indicate that the Computers/Software/DP and IT industries are the top two industry areas among PMI members, with about 15,000 and 12,000 members respectively in each industry category (estimated in 2005).

In whatever way people prepare to become certified Project Managers, the benefits are immeasurable to both the employee and the employer. Employees are rewarded with increased salaries, job promotions, and in general, better job prospects. Employers who use PMPs are assured that they have hired Project Managers who have a core competency in Project Management and the requisite experience to perform as a project manager. Studies have shown that projects managed by people who are not certified Project Managers have only a 25% chance of success, whereas projects run by those who are knowledgeable in Modern Project Management tools and techniques - as are people with the PMP certification - have a 75% success rate.

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